If like me and 13 million other people in the UK*, you suffer from hay fever, you will appreciate just how much it can drag you down and make life so uncomfortable, what with itchy eyes, a runny nose, that tickle at the back of your throat you just want to reach in an scratch and not to mention the sneezing!
Speaking of sneezing, you also know how dangerous it can be when driving to suddenly be caught with a sneezing fit, let alone taking any hay fever relief tablets that can make you drowsy.
Well the good news is that those clever people at ŠKODA have come up with a bit of new technology that could make these symptoms a thing of the past whist you are in your car.
Fitted to the ŠKODA Scala, a new state-of-the-art dual zone Climatronic air-conditioning system defaults to an energy-saving recirculation mode, thereby preventing pollen entering the inside of the car and helping to reduce the symptoms of sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes.
The Scala’s system differs to normal air-conditioning systems in that it uses a special cabin filter and air quality sensor to filter out the pollen. Once the clever system senses that sneeze-inducing air particles are present, it will automatically shut off the outside air inlet to stop the air particles from entering the car and affecting passengers.
Another benefit to the this sophisticated Climatronic system is that it also provides quick relief in sweltering temperatures by employing aerodynamics expertise to monitor the direction and velocity of the airflow inside the car and ensuring cool air is delivered quickly and efficiently to both the driver and passengers. A welcome relief on those odd days when temperatures hit over 30˚C, which they did last week. And you can be sure the system works too, as thousands of hours have been spent developing and testing in-car conditions through every traffic scenario imaginable, including simulating a burning sun at 1,000 W per m2, which is an equivalent heat intensity to the Arizona desert!
Another clever little feature is that the air-conditioning system uses multiple sensors to monitor both inside and outside temperature and humidity. It also has an ingenious extra sunlight sensor that can detect not only the intensity, but also the direction of the sun’s rays. It will then adjust the air temperature for the left or right-hand side of the car, depending on the sun’s direction for far more efficient cooling of the car’s interior.
For the moment, this sophisticated Climatronic system is only available on the ŠKODA Scala, which is priced from £16,595 here in the UK. We hope to see it on other models in the not too distant future as a relief to more hay fever suffers. But for more information please visit: www.skoda.co.uk
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of ŠKODA